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|Why did the Bingley sisters like Jane at first?
Written by Laurel
(5/21/2007 5:08 p.m.)
I was going to ask this earlier on in the GR, but decided to wait because I think there's more to discuss at this point in the book. If it's been brought up before, I apologize -- I couldn't find anything in the posts thus far, but please redirect me if I missed something.
I have always wondered why the Bingley sisters took to Jane so quickly, only to (quite rudely) push her away when they realized she had designs on their brother. It does seem as though Jane is one of the prettier, pleasanter, more genteel young ladies near Meryton, and that certainly must recommend her to the Bingleys. However, it seems quite clear even to Caroline and Louisa that Bingley is attracted to Jane. When "debriefing" after the assembly, Bingley says of Jane that "he could not conceive an angel more beautiful." The sisters even "admired her and liked her, and pronounced her to be a sweet girl," and soon invite Jane to visit. Admittedly, they couldn't have known how long Jane's lunch date with them would last, but I'm surprised that they would do anything to show their approval of someone that might excite their brother's interest if they thought so lowly of her connections and wanted their brother to marry Georgiana instead.
I realize that some of this quick-change might just be necessary to the plot, but does anyone have a good explanation for the sisters' behaviour? Did they not believe their brother would actually fall in love with Jane? Were they simply bored and willing to have any company, even if that might mean putting their brother in "harm's way"? Caroline is such a schemer that I find it difficult to believe she wouldn't have thought all of this out before sending that note to Longbourn. What do you think?
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